As an incoming junior at a university, I have experienced the perks of being organized…and the disastrous outcomes of being unorganized. One of the reasons why I decided to start this blog was that I wanted a free space where I could share my experiences in college, and I believe that organization tips are a great place to start. So, let’s jump right in, shall we? Here are my helpful tips and tricks for becoming (and staying) an organized student.
1. Get a weekly planner.
Purchasing a planner is the first step to becoming organized. These can be found just about any place that sells stationary. I bought mine at my campus bookstore, but I have previously found Target to be my favorite place to buy them. Using a planner is the best way to get your entire life in order because of the numerous ways to utilize it. I like to think of my planner as having three main categories:
- Academics: You can use your planner to organize your academic life. I have found that the most efficient way to do this is by writing down every assignment, due date, and test date upon receiving your syllabus at the beginning of each quarter/semester/class term. You can also use the monthly section of your planner to mark down the days and times of each of your professors’ and TAs’ office hours. Even if you do not think you will ever attend, trust me: taking note of all the information from each syllabus and transferring it into your planner will cause you to stare at it pretty much every time you open your planner.
- Extracurriculars: Another way to use your planner is to mark down all of your extracurricular clubs, organizations, and activities in the monthly sections. As a college student, one of the main ways you will meet people is by getting involved on your campus. Whether it is by attending sports games, joining a sorority or fraternity, or becoming a member of a major-specific organization, there are plenty of ways to make new friends and keep yourself busy (ahem ahem procrastination much?). So, while you take the time to join these clubs, you are going to need a place to write down all of the dates of your many events and clubs, and your planner is the perfect spot!
- Social: You can also utilize your planner by marking down all of your social plans. Whether it is a weekend date, a friend’s party, or a girls’ night in, it is definitely important to write down all of your social plans in order to 1) make sure you don’t schedule two things at once and 2) so you can make sure to schedule some studying in between your social engagements. Trust me, this will make balancing your social life with your academic life a whole lot easier.
2. Set up a study schedule.
I cannot tell you how much this helps. Every time finals week rolls around, my best friend Sabrina spends half an hour creating her schedule for the week. This doesn’t work for everyone, obviously, but when I jumped on the bandwagon and decided to follow her lead, I totally understood how it much it helps. Creating a list of when you will study certain subjects, as well as including 15 minute breaks every hour, will help you stick to what you plan on studying and get through each evening without feeling like you didn’t get anything done.
3. Keep your work space as clean as possible.
Keeping a neat work space is one of the most effective ways to become an efficient student. While having a mattress topper is the number one way to achieve a good night’s rest in your dorm room, keeping your desk as clean and organized as possible is the best way to achieve effective studying. Sometimes it seems like it takes an eternity to clean while it takes 30 seconds to make a space dirty, but by making sure your desk is as clean as possible, you will feel more organized and, in turn, you will feel more motivated to study. Your desk is the space you should be utilizing the most in your dorm room, so make the most of your small space by creating an organized work space!
Whether you are an incoming college freshman or a soon-to-be senior, I hope these tips are helpful for you! Let me know if you would like me to post a more in-depth guide for how I use my planner and plan out each week, and stay tuned for more blog updates and back-to-school posts!